This week, Dallas police need help to track down the person behind a double murder over music.
The victims were 17 and 18 years old. Their lives were lost over lyrics and respect on the streets, but it was also a murder that sparked other violence.
Rap music was Demontre Sweeney's life. Detectives say it’s also what took his life.
“There was definitely a diss song that was released by Demontre Sweeney in regards to another individual,” said Eric Barnes with the ATF Violent Crime and Gang Taskforce.
Demontre Sweeney and his friend, 18-year-old Jabri Jones, were shot to death two years ago on March 19 in the parking lot of a Pleasant Grove apartment complex.
“The surveillance video will show the vehicle that our victims are in,” said Dallas Police Det. Chris Walton. “Trying to come towards the exit gate, an individual runs up to the driver’s side window, and he opens fire.”
But the double murder stemming from a diss song aimed at a rival was just the beginning.
In April 2016, two people were shot at a convenience store on Bruton Road. One man died.
On May 21 of the same year, shots rang out at an RIP gathering at Club Nineteen Nineteen for Sweeney and Jones. Security guard Kendrick Forrest was killed.
“You have these two groups that are that are making music, and it was basically a rolling soap opera, a hip-hop soap opera,” Barnes said. “They are rapping about stuff that’s going on in Pleasant Grove, in South Dallas. And it’s translating into other shootings.”
Shootings that have continued for almost two years. Some have been arrested while others are facing federal gun charges.
“Some of those individuals that were out, a lot of people were scared. But now, some of these individuals are locked up now. So we need the public’s assistance to help us bring this case to a close,” Walton said. “Not only did the families have to suffer through the loss of losing loved ones. It was a constant kind of torment between the music and social media posts that were targeting them months after their death.”
In fact, a music video was made in the very parking lot where Sweeney and Jones were killed. The video showed guns and gang signs while the rap focused on the two victims who were killed.
“We believe the community has answers,” Barnes said. “And we want to show the community that we're ready to shake bushes, get into the weeds and do what we need to do to solve these cases.”
Crime Stoppers is offering up to a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. ATF is adding the same to the pot.
Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers at (214) 373-8477.